New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday that police didn't stop journalists from covering the Nov. 15 clearing of Zuccotti Park: "We didn't keep anybody from reporting, you just had to stand to the side." Bloomberg made the comments to radio host John Gambling during the mayor's weekly radio segment, according to the Village Voice. "You don't have a right as a press person to stand in the way just in the interest of getting the story." Reporters say police blocked them from getting close enough to the park sweep to actually see what happened. Police-issued press passes are supposed to allow journalists to cross police lines, but the New York Observer, which was at the scene on Nov. 15, "witnessed multiple credentialed reporters blocked from crossing police barricades that kept them several blocks from the park." They also arrested several journalists covering the protests throughout the day. The mayor's comments on Friday sound a lot like his explanation on Nov. 15, when he said the police department "routinely keeps members of the press off to the side when they are in the middle of a police action." The difference is that on Friday he made it sound like keeping reporters away from the news wouldn't stop them from reporting what was going on, which it clearly would.
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